The Smithereens are the latest '80s group hoping to cash in on the current wave of "college rock" comebacks, with plans underway to release both a live record and a studio album in the next few months as part of its new deal with Velvel Records.Drummer Dennis Diken is currently sorting through tapes of old concerts from throughout the band's near 20-year history to compile the live album, which frontman Pat DiNizio says is the final piece of the retrospective triad that began three years ago with greatest hits package, "Blown to Smithereens," and the rarities and B-sides collection, "Attack of the Smithereens." For the band's first studio album since 1994's "Date with the Smithereens," DiNizio said he has been drawing inspiration from what he views as pop culture's growing pre-millennium tension. "The working title for the new record is 'This Is the Way the World Ends, Baby," he explained, "and I'm approaching it in a more thematic way than with any record we've done before.
It's going to be really strange and interesting, sort of somewhere conceptually between Stephen King's 'The Stand' and that Fox TV show, 'Millennium.'"According to DiNizio, the Smithereens will head into a studio in November or December to start recording the new material, and hope to have the live album out by the end of the year.